Ready Schools, Safe Learners Updates

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To:        Superintendents and Principals, Charter School Leaders, Private School Leaders,
             ESD Reopening Advisors
Date:    March 15, 2021
From:  Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education
RE:      Ready Schools, Safe Learners Updates

On March 5, 2021 Governor Brown announced a clear direction to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA):

  1. Examine current research and updated guidelines from the CDC and the US Department of Education;
  2. Review current requirements in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance in order to better facilitate the return of in-person instruction while also reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19; and
  3. Update the advisory metrics to make clear that hybrid or in-person instruction is the primary instructional model for school districts, unless extreme rates of community transmission of COVID-19 make comprehensive distance learning necessary.  

On Friday, March 12, the Governor published Executive Order 21-06 that formally outlines this directive. 

In response, ODE has moved quickly in partnership with OHA to release updates to RSSL knowing that it has impacts on your planning. As has been the practice, changes are marked in the release notes table on the first page of the document and are identified with green italicized text throughout for your review. 

Here is an embargoed copy of the press release that will go out at 2 p.m. today to press and public. Please do not share the press release and guidance until 2 p.m.

Key updates to RSSL include:

A “Hybrid Design Review” tool has been developed by ODE and is offered as a support to school leaders as they plan, re-visit, or review their Hybrid Instructional Model(s). 

ODE will update supplemental guidance documents as quickly as possible in the coming days.

Action Needed if Survey Not Completed
One immediate action item needed from each public school district and charter school is the completion of the survey on meeting Governor Brown’s Executive Order. Thanks to the many who have already responded. ODE will use the information provided to then prioritize making contact with each district to ensure clear progression toward meeting the direction set forward by the Governor. 

Thank you for the outstanding leadership you have demonstrated throughout the pandemic and especially in this time of transition. Please continue to use the ODE COVID-19 inbox for additional questions. Thank you!